Hojuelas o Hojaldras Colombianas (Colombian Hojuelas)

by Erica Dinho on December 8, 2009


I want to share another traditional Colombian Christmas treat with you. These Hojuelas or Hojaldras are a delicious fried pastry that we eat with Natilla and Buñuelos at Christmas gatherings. Just writing this post made me homesick and I began missing the holidays in Colombia with my family. Growing up in a big Colombian family like mine was a lot of fun and the holidays were very special. My mother has 3 sisters and 5 brothers, so my grandmother usually had all nine children with their families for the holidays. It was a full house, but we always had a wonderful time and delicious food. If you are curious about what Colombians do around the Christmas season, here are some of our traditions:

El pesebre: The manger

Arbol de Navidad: Christmas tree

Novenas: December 16 to 24, we get together with family and friends every night to pray and sing Christmas songs to baby Jesus. And, of course, we eat our Christmas treats (Natilla, Buñuelos y Hojuelas).

El niño Jesus: Baby Jesus is the one who brings presents to Colombian kids, not Santa Claus, maybe it’s too far for him :) . On December 24 baby Jesus comes at 12:00 am and leaves presents around the kid’s beds and the next day the kids find them.

Noche Buena: On December 24th, families get together for Noche Buena, our Christmas Eve gathering. There is a lot of food, dancing and presents.

Fiesta de Fin de Año: On December 31st families get together to celebrate the end of the year, with food, dancing and fireworks. In my family it was a special day because it was also my grandmother’s birthday.

Without further ado, here is the Hojuelas recipe:

Hojuelas 035



  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Hojuela047


  1. Place the flour and sugar in a medium bowl and using an electric hand mixer, mix well. Add the butter and continue mixing at low speed for about 20 seconds.
  2. Add the orange zest and start adding the orange juice. Keep mixing at low speed while you are adding the juice.
  3. Once the mixture has pulled together, mix at a slightly higher speed to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Roll the dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for about 20 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 1 x 3 ½ inches strips. Add more flour to the work surface if necessary and again roll each strip to about 1/8 inch thick.
  6. Place a heavy pot over medium heat and fill it about one-third of the way with vegetable oil. Heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 340°F.
  7. Add the pieces and fry until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with sugar and serve warm.
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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim December 8, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Sounds like you have wonderful memories of Christmas in Colombia. It can be hard at the holidays when you miss all your family. I feel the same way. These treats look delicious :D


2 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen December 8, 2009 at 1:35 PM

These look great! One of my great aunts used to make something similar during holiday time. I know in Italian they are called zeppole! Whatever they are called in any language, they are GOOD!


3 Ben December 8, 2009 at 2:50 PM

In our countries this time of the year is a big party! In Mexico they start on the 12th with el día de la virgen de Guadalupe and then come the posadas with piñatas and a lot of food. I do miss this time of the year there, too. But the good thing is that we can remember them with delicious food like these hojuelas :D


4 Ivy December 8, 2009 at 3:12 PM

It’s great learning some of your traditions. Sometimes these simple desserts are the best.


5 Erica December 8, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Thank you guys for the comments!


6 Adriana December 8, 2009 at 3:52 PM

In Colombia we start on December 7th with “El Dia de las Velitas” prior to Dec. 8th The Inmaculate Conception catholic holiday.


7 Sarah Naveen December 8, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Lovely post..great to know about christams time in Colombia :)..
I miss my home too..We also used to have this family gathering in my moms house..but now everybdy is in different continents :(
This snack looks so wonderful…I am dfntly gonna make this…
Soo yummy…


8 Sook December 8, 2009 at 7:14 PM

I’d be popular if I made this on Christmas morning…. I should save the recipe!


9 Nidia December 8, 2009 at 7:59 PM

I’m from Tunja, Colombia in the Boyaca department. I still remember that the one that was bringing presents to us was Papá Noel, not baby Jesus. Maybe that is another part of Colombia. After “El Dia de las Velitas” family and neighbors get together for the Novena that Erica already explained up above.


10 danielle December 8, 2009 at 8:31 PM

doesnt that look yummy!


11 monicajane December 8, 2009 at 8:54 PM

there is an italian christmas treat that is exactly the same and the name escapes me right now but I grew up eating them…since then I found out there are varieties of the same in other european countries as well…shoot…it bums me out the name isn’t coming to me…I’m gonna wait to send this for a minute.

ah! got it with the help of google…Crustole…yum! brings back lots of memories


12 rebecca subbiah December 8, 2009 at 8:55 PM

oh wow i love that Jesus brings the gifts thats spot on, send me a few of these babies!!


13 Velva December 8, 2009 at 10:26 PM

There would be no way that I could eat just a few of these-I would eat them all. Fried pastry is just so darn good. Love it.


14 Angie@Angie's Recipes December 9, 2009 at 5:49 AM

These look truly delicious!


15 Barbara December 9, 2009 at 7:45 AM

Such fun to hear about all the Christmas traditions! These cookies look delicious!


16 Erica December 9, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Thank you all for the comments!


17 Oysterculture December 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Oh this sounds so tasty, and I really love learning about the Christmas traditions. What a special post


18 Clauida December 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM

I was also born in Colombia. However, I came to the U.S at the age of 7. I do remember all these wonderful traditions and I’m very fortunate to have my entire family here in the States. Actually, I was remembering that they were my favorite and yes, my Mamita made them for me as well. WONDERFUL BLOG!


19 Chris December 9, 2009 at 5:48 PM

I enjoyed not only the recipe but the back ground on your cultural and family traditions as well.


20 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie December 9, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Thanks for sharing your wonderful traditions with us! And the hojuelas look scrumptious, I would love to try those!


21 caulin December 9, 2009 at 11:56 PM

these are great i made some for foods day in spanish class and the country of origen was coombia and i made alot th are the best thanks for posting them up. and i might make some for christmas just to eat because they are so delicious!!!!! :)


22 Felisha December 10, 2009 at 12:06 AM

Love the holiday recipes. Keep them coming! :)


23 Faith December 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I loved reading about your traditions! These look like a delicious treat!


24 Diana December 10, 2009 at 5:07 PM

What beautiful family traditions Erica! I especially love the novenas, what a beautiful time that must be :) Thanks for sharing!!


25 Divina December 11, 2009 at 12:56 AM

It’s great to know your family traditions in Columbia. I agree with Baby Jesus more than Santa Claus. Thanks Erica.


26 MaryMoh December 11, 2009 at 3:05 AM

These would be so great with coffee. Thanks for sharing. I’m missing my family back home too this Christmas :(


27 Erica December 11, 2009 at 9:02 AM

Thank you everyone for visiting my site :)


28 Devon December 11, 2009 at 1:05 PM

My apartment is freezing. Please pass me a plate of hojuelas and hot chocolate.


29 Katy December 13, 2009 at 11:06 PM

It is great to find these recipes with background of traditions; novenas were a beautiful time, and yes! These are great with “cafecito”. All this is just about baby Jesus, Let’s rejoice and shine the love of Jesus! Thank you, Erica.


30 Soma December 15, 2009 at 9:44 PM

This has to be soooo good with the orange zest and deep fried and all. Thanks for sharing your memories Erica, I know how it feels to stay far away from home during festivities. Did not know that it would be too far for Santa to go :-)


31 Nats December 18, 2009 at 9:26 AM

I found this post while I was looking for an Hojulas recipe. I also grew up in Colombia and miss all of those Christmas traditions… I teared up just reminiscing as I read your post. =)


32 Erica December 18, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Thank you guys for all the wonderful comments! Happy holidays!


33 Matthew December 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

i am very much interested in south american food that when i saw these recipes i got all excited,for sure before the season is over i am going to make Hojuelas ans the others. please send more


34 Jackie January 28, 2010 at 8:11 PM

How many hojuelas does this recipe make?


35 Erica January 29, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Jackie- About 24 hojuelas.


36 jackie December 11, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Hi Erica! These look so great!!! Thanks for posting this, I will give them a try and let you know how they turned out. I also just started my own blog and would love it if you could visit it worldof-jackie.blogspot. Thanks!
Happy Holidays


37 corinne December 22, 2010 at 8:37 PM

i am truely grateful that you put these recipies up here . my husband is colombian and i want to try to make it a little more like home this year….thank you


38 corinne December 24, 2010 at 11:43 PM

well, i tried them and they r great, but he says they dont taste like they do over there so i must have failed…it was sticky tho so i dont kbow what i did wrong….and i failed with natilla too, it didnt thicken up….idk what happened :(


39 Claudia January 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I made this 4 times last year for Christmas! Everyone I served it to adored it…but none more that my family. Easy to make, pretty to serve and delicious!


40 Suzanne May 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

My aunt used to make something called Hojaldras. They seem similar, but I feel like she put cheese in them and did not top with powdered sugar. In fact I used to put butter on them! Know anything about this?? She was from Cali.


41 Trish January 1, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I was born in Colombia and grew up in Bogota, we also had our presents delivered by Baby Jesus… but we also did the novenas in front of the manger until January 6th or 7th, when the three kings reached the baby. Some wonderful days. I am very happy to see this recipe, at home we called them arepuelas.


42 Eli May 27, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Que rico se ve! Se parecen a lo que en Chile llamamos “calzones rotos” (nombre extraño, jaja). Definitivamente los voy a hacer para probarlos, se ven deliciosos :)


43 Anonymous December 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM

While made from scratch are ALWAYS the best, my mom would use flour tortillas and fry them as a shortcut.


44 Ana María garcia December 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Nostalgia. Siento mucha nostalgia en este tiempo, más de 24 años que no pasó fiestas de fin de año en mi tierra. Gracias por tus deliciosas recetas, muy fáciles de seguir!


45 janneth December 24, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I just made my Natilla it came out so good, I’m happy, tomorrow I will try to make the hojaldras, will let you know, Feliz


46 Melody February 11, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Hi I’m making this recipe for my Spanish project and I wanted to know how many it made.


47 Erica Dinho February 12, 2014 at 9:57 AM

About 20 hojuelas.


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